Last fall I took a Mindfulness and the Brain course at the University of Virginia’s Mindfulness Center. It was a revelation; not in terms of the mind’s potential, or it’s power to change or its’ more esoteric capabilities. Nope. I learned those lessons from some twenty-five years of spiritual seeking and now teaching in the schoolhalls of new-age metaphysics, yoga, guru admiration, advaita vedanta, and zen mindfulness. Got it. What was revealing about this class was hearing about these same concepts sans the flowery-spiritual-new age speak. The clean vernacular in this class was culled straight from the departments of neuroscience, medicine, and biology. I was simply blown away. I had no idea neuroscience was that close, that broad, that courageous, and well, that spiritual. This jaded spiritual teacher was impressed.
It’s a new day Charlie Brown. As a spiritual teacher I cannot tell you how relieved I was to discover this. No more vibey, new age, lingo. It always felt inadequate to me. No more touchy-feely overly dramatic and long-winded explanations.
If you bumped into a big famous nondual satsang teacher backstage here’s the question you should ask him or her. ” What-
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I’d like to share my blue collar enlightenment back stage insights about teachers (me included occasionally) who do a whole lotta staring and pausing and the necessity for balance with this teaching tool and style. You’ve heard it called different names- transmission, transference, morphogenic fields, mirror neurons, speaking from stillness, etc. But what is it really? Is it necessary? How does it benefit or not benefit you? Running Time: 9:58
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I read them all and I usually respond. Follow the link below or the title link to get to comment page. You’re awesome.
I find it very odd that humanity still retains an old school resistance to and distrust of spiritual teachers, gurus or religious authority figures. We haven’t let go of those old wounds or deep fears which over the eons have collectively lodged themselves into our unconscious. We are still throwing the baby out with the bath water. We are still shooting our own foot- to avoid conflict. It’s an adolescent disposition reminicient of the teenager who wants to skip school. So if you would, I’d like to take a minute to examine this old paradigm, deconstruct it and rebuild it in the light of modern day neuroscience. If spiritual growth interests you- being anti-guru, anti-religious or anti-spiritual authority is hogwash and flies in the face of today’s neuroscience.
I am a shadow teacher. When I write, speak or teach about awakening you will see, hear, and feel my shadow sitting right next to me. I do not hide it. I am not ashamed of it. I do not attempt to scrub it clean. I welcome it into the room; with all it’s glorious faults, apparent contradictions, blemishes, and rough edges. I don’t do this for you. I don’t do this in the name of drama or entertainment. I don’t do this because I am in truth “perfect or pure” and am trying to relate to you. No. I do this because shadow is not separate from who I am.
But of course, there is more to it/me than this because we all have a shadow, and simply recognizing and embracing the shadow does not mean you will wake up. The trick then- to spiritual awakening- is to recognize and embrace both the shadow and that which casts the shadow: LIGHT. Are you with me?- Embrace both. Welcome them both into awakening. Some of my teachers were shadow teachers and I loved/love them dearly. They were the ones who truly inspired me, truly allowed me to be myself, truly empowered me to embrace my own unique awakening. And I did just that. I welcome you to do it as well. Let’s explore the shadow …
I just finished Jed McKennas Theory of Everything. I’m a big Jed fan. Read all his books. Searched for him online (in vain of course) And dreamed many a time of having the anonymous-book selling-mythos-lifestyle that he has somehow conjured up. I even play Tomb Raider. (Just bought my very first Xbox and have been playing the shit out of it) The name of this blog/website is even partially inspired by the title of his second book, Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment. So yeah, I like Jed McKenna. Funny thing however, I don’t think Jed would like me. If we met we would probably bicker and fight over the nuances of explaining, teaching, and being enlightened. And that, in a nutshell is the perfect example of spiritual awakening teachers and their differences- Put them all in the same room and I guarantee a bloody, cursing, knock-down, brawl of a fist-fight in about five minutes. Wouldn’t you just love to see Eckhart Tolle with a black eye? ( Well, I would. )
Okay. Let’s talk about what I call transference and what a lot of teachers call transmission. There are two ways I can approach this topic: 1. From a pseudo-scientific hypothetical point of view & 2. From my own experiential point of view. I’ll attempt to do both. It’s an important topic and one that I think a lot of people are ignorant of, confused by, afraid of, or wigged out by. So let’s shed a little light here so you can stop whining about it, ignoring it, or denying it and can start taking advantage of it.
First of all, let me say- I am biased. I believe in transference; I sat with teachers who offered it; I felt it; benefited from it; and last but not least woke up because of it. No pansy-ass milk-toast opinion here about transference. If Walmart were having a holiday black friday midnight special sale on transference I’d be first in line, and I’d beat old ladies out of the way to get it ( Just kidding – gotta live up to P.I.E. namesake every now and then)
If I were a serious student of the violin and had thousands of dollars at my disposal and could have any teacher in the world, I would seek out the most well-known violin master I could find and beg him to teach me.
If he said yes, and before I actually shelled out the big bucks, I would ask him: “Sir, are you or are you not a great violin master? For I pray that one day I too will be a great violin master. I would like to be assured that I am learning from the best. Is this not the case?”
Naturally I would hope for a quick response. I would only need to hear him say it once. Just once. Then, I would know.
“Yes, my child, I am the greatest violin master who has ever existed.”
Today I received an email… from one of the many sat sang teachers who are running around America selling their wares. I have absolutely no problem with any of these teachers and as you’ll find out, this is the school I graduated from. I have read this teachers’ books, watched his videos and seen him in person. This teacher is awake. But damn that was one cheesy email. The current sat sang modus operandi is becoming the music industry equivalent of Duran Duran. Upon opening the email, there splayed out like porn on a background of slightly out of focus bluish mountains is this:
Like the imaginary lines created between countries,
we create separation in our minds.
All our distinctions are like lines on water.
The mystery of Intelligent Love brings us together
regardless of the lines we imagine.
Huh? I’m confused.